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Where do the most patriotic car buyers live?

Among prospective car buyers, the country's regions are generally predictable in their automaker preferences.

By Clifford Atiyeh Jul 4, 2013 6:36AM
We like to brush them off, but regional stereotypes exist because they're partially based on truth. Among car buyers, it's common to say that liberal Northeasteners and West Coasters love the Toyota Prius and conservative Southerners and swing-state Midwesterners go for domestic pickup trucks.

And by the raw, faceless audience metrics from car-shopping website CarGurus, this is all true.  

CarGurus, based in Cambridge, Mass., tracked the brands its users chose from a pool of 500,000 queries they sent to dealerships in June. Of the 51 cities surveyed, Detroit came out on top, with 68 percent of prospective buyers looking for American-brand cars, compared with San Francisco, which landed at the bottom of the list at 37 percent. Other top cities swayed by American cars were Cleveland, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla., all of which ranged from 58 to 61 percent of online shoppers.

In total, 27 cities favored American cars by at least half, including southern cities like Nashville, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., Louisville, Ky., and Richmond, Va. The split between Asian and European cars varied more among all cities, from a low of 11 percent probing Detroit-area dealers for Asian cars to 28 percent in Houston and 29 percent in Richmond, for example. Las Vegas buyers asked for European cars 30 percent of the time despite half choosing American. Asian cars were favored more in Washington, D.C., Boston, New York, San Diego and San Jose, Calif., than any other cities (between 32-34 percent), although Los Angeles and San Francisco, despite posting the lowest interest in American cars, were more interested in all three global regions at nearly equal levels.

In the end, this is simply one study from one month from one website, but it's a decent snapshot of general buying preferences. Subarus, for example, are practically the state bird of New Hampshire and the BMW 3-Series is like the Ford Taurus of Los Angeles. But for all the stereotypes associated with cars, there are bound to be plenty of owners breaking them with unexpected choices.

Nothing more American than that, right?

CarGurus snapshot of interest in American cars for June 2013 (c) CarGurus
[Source: CarGurus; Photo: Getty/NBC News]
Jul 4, 2013 1:06PM

"Southerners and swing-state Midwesterners go for domestic pickup trucks."


You mean the ones made in Mexico and Canada?

Jul 4, 2013 4:59PM
I love being a patriot, that's why I only buy American-made trucks like the Dodge Ram...oh wait, are you telling me that it's actually Italian now? Well, ok, but at least my favorite muscle car, the Camaro is still proudly made in...Canada? When did that happen?
Jul 6, 2013 12:32AM
American cars only carry the badge, no more cars made in America anymore, Oh there are plants .That put them together, but the parts are made somewhere else,  I drive a 1976 Corvette Stingray, Now this is American, or what it used to be
Jul 5, 2013 8:55AM
The auto industry went global years ago.  Jobs left the US to attract new buyers. escape the unions and get tax breaks for the manufacture.  The Japanese saw an opportunity and took it setting up shop in RTW states.  The Koreans rode their coattails.  The results are vehicles that run better longer than anytime in history.  Even Harley-Davidson has set up shop in China.  So I am just going to enjoy the rides and not feel guilty about moving from a good used ride into shiny new sheet metal or maybe even carbon-fiber occasionally.
Jul 6, 2013 7:47AM
It is getting near bout impossible to buy an American brand car made in America. They're building foreign brands in the USA, American Brands in Canada an Mexico. Ain't nothin' patriotic about American Corporations any more.
Jul 7, 2013 9:06AM

Living here in SoCal we see lots of F150's, Ram's, Silverados etc. Do see Tundras and imports which employee tens of thousands if not a million US workers indirectly. Its a global economy now and we need it that way, as China buys our debt. Without that we would collapse...

We have a F150 and Stang...

Jul 4, 2013 1:24PM
Which automakers are the most un-Patriotic by selling out American jobs and infrastructure to include the degrading of the towns and neighborhoods around their plants, dealerships and operations that were once in America?  How about those companies that may have an American or Patriotic name that choose to put their name brand on a product made overseas and sell the product under their name in America and pass them off as American?  What about the un-Patriotic companies who may have an American or Patriotic name brand that allow only a few Americans aside from company owners and investors to profit from their sales, operations and infrastructure?  Just because a product has an American name, logo or design, it simply doesn't mean it's made in America nor do the profits benefit very many Americans outside of company ownership and shareholders.  Last but not least, how about those American companies who commit the ultimate un-Patriotic act of shuttering plants, dealerships and other supporting businesses to send those jobs to countries who can "do it cheaper" when the infrastructure, talent and laid off trained and experienced workforce is in their very own back yards?
Jul 6, 2013 8:34AM
2007 Tacoma made in the NUMMI plant  (now home of Tesla I believe) in Fremont Ca. by Americans for Americans. One of few factories awarded 0 defects more than once. As one NASCAR announcer stated;  "The Chevy is made in Canada, the Ford in Mexico and the Toyota in Kentucky.
Jul 9, 2013 6:08AM
I am curious.......could we attach average IQ's to each state? I am positive that you would find blue and yellow states have a higher average than the others.
Jul 5, 2013 4:32AM
I'm surprised that half of the buyers in the Pacific Northwest consider American makes.  Certainly Subaru seems to be most prevalent around here.  As for me, I'll only buy German cars.  I'll compromise on where that German-engineered car is built if necessary, but only German-engineered cars meet my exacting preferences.
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